Mariah Carey To Earn $18 Million As ‘American Idol’ Judge

Mariah Carey is the latest pop diva to be added to the American Idol judges’ panel, and though yesterday’s reports said she would earn anywhere between $12 million (Jennifer Lopez‘s Idol salary) and $17 million, People reports that the singer will receive $18 million. That’s just for one season, with an option to renew. Would you expect anything less from the woman with the most #1 singles?

Mimi’s major payday makes her the highest paid judge in reality television. Right behind her is Britney Spears and Howard Stern, who makes $15 million each for their work on The X Factor and America’s Got Talent, respectively. (For comparison: Christina Aguilera makes $10 million for The Voice, while Demi Lovato nabbed $1 million for The X Factor.)

Who do you think Idol will hire for the other two judges’ positions (assuming that Randy Jackson isn’t coming back)? Or rather, the question really is — who can they even afford?